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Albania and the European Union: The Tumultuous Journey by Mirela Bogdani

By Mirela Bogdani

While will Albania subscribe to the european? Will accession support Albania to accomplish prosperity, balance and prosperity? What components are supporting it in the direction of this finish and what elements are protecting it again? An unique learn of Albania and its kin with the european, this is often the 1st booklet to spot and examine the issues of the rustic because it strikes in the direction of club of the Union. It explores the political, monetary and social differences had to make Albanian club attainable. The authors spotlight the large democratic alterations that experience happened in post-communist Albania in addition to the various hindrances that also stay. This balanced and aim overview may be a vital source for everybody drawn to the historical past and way forward for the Balkans and the ecu.

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This is both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to avoid a hardening of the divisions within the former communist states, especially between the more advanced states such as the Visegrád countries, as well as Romania and Bulgaria, and those states which have less successfully made the transition: Belarus, the Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balkan countries. Albania finds itself squarely within the latter group. The opportunity is that the new borders may actually assist the weaker states to accelerate and intensify their reforms to catch up with their immediate neighbours.

This leads us to the second aspect of Albanian Islam. Albania, unlike Turkey, is both a secular state and secular society. Albanian Islam has never been a strict and traditional form. The majority of Albanian Muslims are Sunnis, the branch which, in contrast to the Shi’ites, is most open to western influences such as in dress and social habits. The other Muslim tradition in Albania is Bektashism, a form of Shi’ite Islam close to the Sufis (best known for the practice of the ’whirling dervishes’).

It is the Council of Europe which has most developed this idea, especially in its ‘European Charter of Local Self-government’ to which might be added in the near The Transition Period: Political and Socio-Economic Situation of Albania 39 future a ‘European Charter of Regional Self-government’. These Charters define the practical organization of democracy at the sub-national level. Thus, the principal elements of liberal democracy are: political and civic pluralism and freedom, executive accountability (both vertically to the electorate and horizontally to the legislature), the absence of reserved domains of power, sub-national government, and, above all, the rule of law.

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